An overview of different herbal realities focusing on the medicinal value of plants, indigenous herbs of South Africa and aspects of the herbal industry that affect the person in the street.
Since time does not allow most of us to read long newsletters, this newsletter will only deal with one herb at a time starting with the series kitchenwise and streetwise.


Kitchen-wise-Medicinal herbs in the kitchen
Allergy Part 1


There are hundreds of varieties of basil and mainly they have similar base properties


Hey pesto! Nope it's hey presto to the exotic he-she herb Basil that has travelled the spice route from the East for 5000 years to be a delightful companion in pastas.
Basil is a common herb in the kitchen and easily found on supermarket shelves. During pregnancy a tea a day can improve the blood circulation. It's the cinnamanic acid, which helps and also has a beneficial effect in cases of diabetes

Related to the mint family {first cousin to Joe Mint the original peppermint} it is often used for nausea, gas, constipation and indigestion

The ancient travellers knew the strong natural anti-inflammatory properties of basil and used it for chest complaints, bronchitis and coughs. Because it is also anti bacterial it helps with cuts and some intestinal. parasites.. Chew a few leaves in the morning and it will flush the bacteria out the body.
Researchers today have isolated the anti-inflammatory and gave it the big name BCP (beta caryophyllene). Its this BCP which also gives marijuana its relieving qualities Riding a camel long distance can be traumatic yet the BCP in basil is helpful for camel induced headaches and minor pains similar to the effect of medical marijuana yet without the high.
Likely a nice relaxing drink when reading the newspaper these days. So when the government hears of this they may ban Basil too--anything is possible from what represents current intelligent government.


Antioxidants have a strong preventative effect in eliminating free radicals and basil is well endowed with a toolbox full of it for strengthening the body defences against cancers of the liver and skin.
Basil oil is a very strong anti oxidant. The leaf can be taken as a tea either fresh or dried with 1 teaspoon to a cup boiling water--about 4 fresh leaves. Tinctures capsules and pastes are also available.

It is said that basil helps for anti aging yet unless the anti oxidant element is seriously strong; it is questionable. Good luck to you and if it works the chances are you will need this tip--- if you get an insect bite crush some leaves and rub on the wound, a sigh of relief follows.

Most common herbs have wonderful uses----"and the herbs of the field shall be for thee for medicine"---Yup we have forgotten to use the kitchen as a pharmacy but the large pharmaceutical companies are watching and plotting to take away the freely given and available herbal medicines and make a big buck by making them available by prescription only. As if billions profits is not enough, the cruelty of bottom line business mirrors in its gross gluttony..

The use of herbs as a preventative measure is a good idea.There are many anti inflammatories and helpful herbs growing in yours or your neighbours garden and cost nothing

Its ok to take any herb by itself, yet when mixed with care with other healing herbs a really powerful combination may result--Prevention is better than cure.

In the next newsletter we will deal with Wilde Als (Artemesia Afra) in the series called Street-wise-talking about medicinal properties of herbs found growing in the streets, garden and the wild.

ALLERGY part 1

Allergies are more than a runny nose, sneezing and itching. The cause, which sets off an allergic reaction, is called an allergen.
An allergen is a substance, which can be eaten, inhaled, injected, or touched.
Allergies occur when too much exposure to Antigens causes the release of large amounts of Histamine and Serotonin from Mast Cells in the body. for e.g. a bee sting may be overmuch, likewise flowering time may just too much for the body to handle.
So the pollen enters into the nasal passage and lands on a mast cell, which releases histamine and Serotonin and then we see the body reacting in a way to get rid of the irritant for e.g. sneezing, runny nose.

Symptoms of allergic reactions vary
Skin conditions --hives dermatitis eczema
Stress-diminishes the immune system ---- today's radio and Internet waves, cell phones---new technology that the body - mind is not evolved to handle has an unknown effect and an equally unknown long term effect.
Respiratory--runny eyes, wheezing, asthma, hay fever.
Digestive ---bloating, nausea, reflux, cramps. diarrhoea.
Anaphylatic shock, a major allergic reaction which can result in death.

Allergies are a major disease although not recognised as such--it plays havoc with children's social life and restricts so many aspects of daily living. - 60 million Americans suffer from allergies--at a minimal guess about 8 million South Africans.

Some of the common Antigens (causes)
Indoor-outdoor allergy---from cats to leaves
Insect--the bee thing, cockroaches, dust mites
Food and drug--with a bit of help from fast foods and fancy packaging--genetic engineering may boost the allergy figure so prevention starts with reading the label -mutagens and genetically modified ingredients are not recommended. Of course medical negligence with penicillin also helps to push up the figures. Cows milk products, pork products, white sugar, yeast products, pickles and acid foods and red wine often encourage allergic reactions. Latex - so watch reaction to condoms too.
Genetics --and the limitations of the parents will be passed on to seven generations. So you may inherthe allergy your grandfather had to cats hair.

You can be tested for allergies--Tests vary and include
Eliminator diets -- Blood tests -- Kinesiology -- Pulse readings --Chemical and sublingual --
Eliminator trial by Dowsing

SO FAR AS IS KNOWN THERE IS NO CURE FOR ALLERGY JUST GOOD MANAGEMENT--not as heavy as it sounds as South Africa has an abundance of naturally occurring herbs which aid management.
Anti-Histamines are the most commonly prescribed treatment for Allergies:
Note that Anti-Histamines are rarely effective in the treatment of Allergies because they do not reduce the inflammation caused by Serotonin that is released by Mast Cells at the same time that Histamine is released.
The ancient science of herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years before artificial drugs made from their active constituents. It is medicine you can trust with few if any side effects, low cost, added benefits and often the allergy treatment of choice.

Herbal and Alternative Treatment of Allergies.
What we can do is to give the major natural botanicals and their actions in short form and from them you could make an herbal mixture, which could be a preventative tea for your type of allergy.

Is it so ridiculous to believe that a weed can prevent the release of Histamine and Serotonin from the mast cell?
Apart from its general action of maintaining the integrity of the mast cell wall and anti-inflammatory properties, nettle leaf helps to reverse Itching Eyes, Itching Ears and Itching Throat in Allergy sufferers.
So awesome that drinking cups of nettle tea relieves the major stress of allergies. {Here is a habit to go for to replace drinking the fizzy diet liquid poison that is so popular and consumes so much of the inherent energy of the body to maintain a balance of health}.

My apologies for cutting off here since allergy is such a huge subject that to fit it into one newsletter is not possible without tons of information, which would not be digested.

Guidance with professional health practitioners from the naturopath, sangoma, dietician, alternative healer to a MD is an responsible course of action when dealing with any substance affecting your health.

For more in depth details about Margoram and other herbs visit < > or go to <<herb info and pictures page.>>



We are also a mail order source for our own organic teas , singles and herbal products. Working with you, we can develop custom formulations specific to your practice. Our goal is long term working relationships that evolve over time.

If you have a problem getting the herbs contact us at <<herbs@herbsorganic.co za 2>>and we will do our best to help you find them.


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